Happy, Healthy, Frugal Holidays! by Heather Bowles
This week, for Tabitha’s weekly outing, I decided to brave her first Christmas shopping experience. It’s early enough in the season that I’m not taking my life into my own hands by picking up that toy every grandmother has her eye on, but not so early that what I pick up will be out of style on December 25th. I went with a girlfriend of mine, and she suggested this little upscale consignment shop across town called Children’s Orchard.
I used to be too snobbish for secondhand shops, but particularly when it comes to baby things, I have learned that buying new often means that my child’s beloved item winds up recalled, and if I don’t have the receipt even six months after purchase, I’m not getting the money back, or the part I need to make the item safe. Buying from reputable consignment shops almost completely eliminates this issue. Not only does the store in question only buy items in new or like new condition, but they are very careful to monitor the baby market recall lists, so it’s a relative certainty that I’m buying an item that is in good shape and tested well after market.
In addition, my daughter is getting more bang for her Christmas dollars. The economy has torn a gaping hole in my family’s buying power in recent years and I know we’re not alone. Buying secondhand means Santa won’t have to cut back on our children’s joy this year. They certainly have been a good little girls and boys, after all, and I think they deserve the world, don’t you?
In buying from a consignment storefront, we also eliminate the inherent danger of person to person sales, such as can be found on Craigslist or the local want ads. Whether buying or selling, the last thing someone wants is to invite a stranger to see the inside of their home and it’s contents this time of year. That’s an open invitation to would be thieves and other miscreants. Lastly, buying secondhand is much like recycling, and anything bought used eliminates the need for a new item to be manufactured, or for the aforementioned, previously loved item to take up space in our already overly full landfills.
In short, what’s good for the wallet also makes for a happy child, and a happy planet. What are you doing this holiday season to make it a frugal and happy one?